Faulty history

On Steve Sailer’s blog, following a piece about ‘Silicon Valley’s most boring adventuress’ (and the significance of White Shoes), this comment appeared:

boomers blamed for feminism

The commenter deserves some points for imagination in deftly shoehorning Boomers into the discussion but I don’t understand how it can be imagined that feminism began in the mid-1960s or even much later, when ‘The Boomer Women’ were old enough to be passing myths on to anybody. Nevertheless some law apparently exists that stipulates that all evil has ‘boomers’ as its source, and I won’t try to resume that battle just now.

Do people really believe that feminism began only in the mid-20th century or later? First of all, the ‘battle of the sexes’ goes back to Adam and Eve, I suppose, but feminism as we know it dates back at least to the 19th century, with women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and events like the Seneca Falls Conference. But then in 1792 there had been Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which was an influential book, and which encouraged women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton to agitate for “equality” for women.

Then in the 20th century there were successive ‘waves’ of feminism, with women in the U.S. being given the vote in 1920. The two world wars, however, were a big factor in women entering in substantial numbers into the work force. Some of this was by necessity, as many of the younger and able-bodied men were fighting the wars, and women stepped into some traditionally male-dominated jobs, or at least entered the work force for the first time. When the men returned from the wars (of course many men, sadly, didn’t return) some women found they wanted to continue working and earning a paycheck, or they wanted the ‘independence’ of having a career or even a mere job, rather than returning to the ‘drab’ domestic sphere where their abilities would be wasted.

‘Liberal’ philosophies and political systems appeal to human weaknesses and what the Christian Bible calls sins: pride, vanity, and greed, mainly, and these leftist systems entice people with the promise of ‘equality’, teaching that everybody is as good as anybody else; hierarchy is bad because ‘unfair’, and that nobody should assume an ‘inferior’ role or a humble role in life. Women were taught that their great gifts and talents were squandered in the domestic sphere; the world was being deprived of the female sex’s nobler qualities and talents, and it was demeaning to be a helpmeet to a husband or to do domestic chores, which are menial and degrading. I’ve heard career women say that their own mothers ”didn’t do anything with their own lives” because they stayed at home as homemakers and mothers. Only a paying job, or a job with considerable prestige and income, would suffice for a feminist-minded women.

So where did all this start? It’s at least as old as Jacobinism and Marxism, and older than that if we look back through history. Aristophanes’ play Lysistrata has the women rebelling against the men. Women have always seemingly had the temptation to believe that they are the equals of men in every way, if not the superiors.

To bring this back to the 20th century, I read somewhere on another blog (I read a lot of blogs, and I lose track of where I read what sometimes) the charge was made that GenXers had a hard upbringing as ‘latchkey kids’, presumably with working parents or single mothers, yet many children from earlier in the century likewise had working mothers, especially children of those women who had gone to work in ‘defense’ jobs during WWII or in WWI. Working mothers were not just a late-20th century phenomenon. And there have always been widows who were compelled to go to work to support families and who did not have parents or close relatives to care for their children. Many of those children ended up in foster care or the old-fashioned orphanages when their single parent couldn’t cope with caring for them.

Feminism or female supremacy, as it really is in its current incarnation, is not something that was dreamed up 50 or so years ago. It’s been with us a long time, as have all forms of egalitarianism. And no generation has a monopoly on ‘victimhood’ because they were children of single parents, or neglectful parents. Those have been with us always, too.

And suppose your  parents did steer you wrong, or teach you unsound ideas? We are all responsible for evaluating, as we mature, what is true and good and what is not. Blaming others for our problems, our elders or whoever else, is neither mature nor healthy. We all have agency to make our own choices as we become adults, to accept or reject what we were taught, and to bear the consequences.

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